International Search Summit – Multilingual PPC Part 1

by oskarokupa on November 25, 2008

The second International Search Summit, held the 20th November in the British Library in London, was mainly focused on Paid Search globally, handling multilingual PPC campaigns internationally, usability for landing pages in different languages, main international agents internationally (quick warning, it is not only Google), and everything related to Multilingual Search Marketing. It was a fantastic way to learn about the European Search sphere, and how the new marketing techniques are starting to permeate the more traditional Marketing scene in Europe and worldwide.

First, Andy Atkins-Kruger, from WebCertain gave a quick lowdown about the windows of opportunities opened when a business want to expand internationally. European Internet statistics were analysed giving specific focus to the countries with more Internet users, FIGS (French, Italian, German and Spanish). Immediately, a throrough review of the main search engines worldwide was undertaken, mentioning Google for the Anglo-Saxon countries, Baidu dominating China, Yandex being predominant in Russia and other minoritary European engines like Seznam, etc.

To sum up Andy goes on about the key tips about Multilingual Search internationally:

  • CPCs are lower in Engines different than Google. Baidu is a very good example of this.
  • Never translate keywords literally. Those awkard looking translations will not convert in the local markets
  • Long tail. The more detailed phrases that people search, Long tail differs in different languages. German has a much longer tail than English or Spanish f.e
  • Main factors to take into account for Paid search internationally: keywords, landing pages, campaign structure, buy process, pay system, creatives, etc

Synchronisation is the key to handle International Paid search.

Next is Stephanie Kidder, E-commerce Sales and Marketing Director from Pinnacle, giving a WebCertain client’s perspective on the topic of International Paid Search.

Being a video company that exists in 6 languages with a 58% of traffic from outside of USA, the vital importance of the international paid search is obvious for Stephanie. She talked about the practicalities of doing International Paid Search and working with agencies:

  • Revenue and budgets do not take language complexity into account
  • Budget constraints
  • Different products per country add difficulties to the whole
  • Need of extra level of coordination

Website Localisation is the key to manage to reach these international audiences. Stephanie suggests different ways:

  • In house: Mother tongue speakers at lower cost but not specialised on Paid search
  • Translation agencies. Liberates internal resources but requires extra coordination
  • Network of agencies. Local presence and language. Stephanie says that doesn’t work and cites and example of her own experience.
  • Specialized agency. Mother tongue marketers who know the industry, costs and advanced coordinations are essentail. More cost effective.

What to expect from agencies:

  • Benchmarks, kpis (key performance indexes), goals. Set them up and track them on a regular basis
  • Consistency with keywords across countries
  • Proactiveness:
  • Updates, be involved, changes in a fast pace environment

Stepahnie argues that communication with the assigned agency is key and lays out how to implement it:

  • Integrate PPC and SEO even if the agency caters only one of them they need to be consistent
  • Flexibility to make changes
  • Involve the agencies into the inner marketing campaigns

Stephanie was very pleased with her liaision with WebCertain as a whole and mentioned why:

  • Brand terms. Those terms were converting very well
  • Strong results in countries with less marketing presence
  • SEO and PR to assist improvements
  • Focusing on emerging markets

However, not everything is positive. She also talked about the downsides of expanding your products internationally:

  • Google issues. Legal problems
  • Difficult to generate sales in countries with big competition (germany)
  • Non branded terms

Overall, these two presentations were destined to show the low-hanging fruit of International Paid Search, how you can easily target emerging markets for your products without a huge investment in infrastructure and the need of having to deal with different agencies.

If you have any question contact me on twitter on

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